The astonishingly gutsy filmmaker Lee Chang-Dong doesn't set out to shock viewers. He's just unwilling to flinch from hard truths, be it the taboo love affair between an ex-con and a woman with cerebral palsy (Oasis) or the dashed-to-suicide dreams of adulthood (Peppermint Candy). Lee visits our town with his latest award-winning saga of unpredictable lives, Secret Sunshine, which also happens to be South Korea's official entry in the Oscar derby for Best Foreign Language Film. Jeon Do-Yeon took home the best actress prize at Cannes for her riveting portrayal of a widow with a young son who trades Seoul for small-town life, only to find small-mindedness and undreamt-of evil. Lee's movies are often likened to novels because of the way his plots unfold, and additional layers are gradually revealed. This is a rare opportunity to hear the auteur explicate the subtleties of his work, but prepare to be shocked.
Wed., Jan. 9, 7 p.m., 2008